Hospitals have earned the reputation of being an establishment that can help us get better. Whether a patient is admitted to the hospital for surgery, to give birth or to obtain emergency services, they go to get help – not to get hurt.
Unfortunately, hospital negligence happens all too frequently- and here, in Pennsylvania, it’s no exception. According to a 2018 study released by the National Practitioner Data Bank, Pennsylvania ranked number two on the list of states with the highest amount of medical malpractice payouts. If you were injured as a result of hospital negligence, you’re not alone. Continue reading to find out what your options for compensation are.
What is Hospital Negligence?
Hospital negligence occurs when an employee of the hospital injures a patient as a result of a negligent act or omission. As with all medical malpractice claims, hospitals are held to a reasonable standard of care, which they owe to all patients. In order to move forward with a medical malpractice claim in Pennsylvania, you and your attorney must prove the following:
- The hospital violated the standard of care. In other words, did the hospital or employee do something that they should not have done or fail to do something that they should have done?
- The patient was injured as a result of this violation. In order to move forward with a valid claim, the patient must be able to prove that their injuries were directly caused by the hospital and/or employee’s negligence or the conduct increased the risk that they suffer an injury.
- The patient suffered damages that can be compensated. In other words, did the patient miss out on wages from being able to work? Did they have medical bills associated with the injury? Did they become disabled on account of this error?
If all of these elements are met, then you are able to move forward with a medical malpractice claim for hospital negligence.
Types of Hospital Negligence
Hospital negligence can occur in a variety of ways, not limited to:
- Failing to provide proper follow-up care
- Prescribing the wrong medication or giving the patient the wrong dosage
- Performing surgery on the wrong patient and/or wrong part of the body
- Failing to diagnose a medical condition or misdiagnosing it altogether
- Discharging the patient prematurely
- Failing to order imaging tests, such as MRIs, CT scans or X-rays to diagnose the condition
- Failing to recognize a patient’s symptoms and/or failing to order necessary tests to diagnose or treat a patient’s condition
Read more: Why Would a Doctor Fail to Perform a Biopsy?
Who Can Be Held Liable for Hospital Negligence?
Anyone who provides medical care to the patient can be held liable in a hospital negligence case. This extends to nurses, technicians and even support staff.
But what about doctors? If the doctor is directly employed by the hospital, then the hospital can be held directly liable for the doctor’s conduct. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Some doctors are hired as independent contractors. This means that if they are involved in a medical malpractice case, the doctor is responsible, not necessarily the hospital.
However, if the hospital knowingly hired and continued to employ a doctor that they knew was incompetent or dangerous, they will most likely be held liable in a hospital negligence claim. For instance, let’s say a physician has been drinking or taking drugs on the job. If the hospital knew about this behavior and failed to do anything about it, they will be held liable if a patient is injured as a result of the incompetent physician’s actions.
As you can see, hospital negligence claims can be a little tricky, which illustrates why hiring an experienced and compassionate medical malpractice attorney is important. At Matzus Law LLC, we have years of experience handling the most complex hospital negligence claims. We will fight, not only for you and your loved ones, but to make sure nothing like this happens to anyone else. Don’t delay; give our firm a call today: 412-206-5300.
Contact a Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Hospital Negligence Case in Pennsylvania
Were you or a loved one injured as a result of hospital negligence in Pennsylvania? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorneys at Matzus Law LLC are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, Butler, Cranberry, Greensburg and Washington. Call us today at 412-206-5300 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 310 Grant Street, Suite 3210, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.